The Complete Illustrated Directory of Salmon & Steelhead Flies by Chris Mann

Book Reviews & Excerpts — By on September 30, 2009 8:49 am

The following is a review and excerpt of The Complete Illustrated Directory of Salmon & Steelhead Flies, written by Chris Mann (Frank Amato Publications, October 2008,  8.5 x 11 Inches, 448 Pages, Index, All Color- originally published by Melin Unwin Books, 2008) which is available at fine fly shops and booksellers everywhere.

Editor’s Note: Two pages have been excerpted from the actual book and can be viewed on pages two and three following the review.

Blue SandyChris Mann has been studying Salmon Flies and their history for more than 30 years.  The last two and a half of which were spent researching, identifying, and illustrating the 1,800 flies covered in his newest book, “The Complete Illustrated Directory of Salmon & Steelhead Flies.”

Mann has included the most important and relevant examples of each type of pattern- dry, hairwing, featherwing, hackle fly, spey, dee, shrimp, skater, marabou, tube, etc.  In compiling these patterns, Mann has consulted not only every book published on Salmon & Steelhead flies since 1850, he has collected patterns from magazines and web sites as well.

Black Deceiver
The book itself, is broken into two parts: Salmon flies, and Steelhead flies.  Due to the sheer number of flies in the book, the author has provided the reader with three indexes to help find the pattern you want, quickly and easily.  An index of fly dressers, an index of fly types, and an index of all flies in alphabetical order.

All 1800 fly patterns are shown alongside their respective materials list.  Mann also gives a brief introduction to each fly, noting it’s originator when known and the reputation the fly has achieved.    I must note that the illustrations are breathtakingly realistic.  In fact, I’m still having a hard time wrapping my mind around how such stunning detail was accomplished without photographing the actual flies (the photos you see here look more illustrated than the photos in the book).

Chaleur Bay SmeltThis is the most prolific directory of Salmon and Steelhead flies ever published.  From intimate full dressed featherwing patterns, to bombers, to speys, to simple hairwings; this book has you covered for a lifetime of inspiration at the tying bench.

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  1. Jason says:

    really nice looking flies!

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  2. Sharon Dorey says:

    I have this book (The Complete Illustrated Directory of Salmon & Steelhead Flies by Chris Mann) and I agree on the research, indexing and amount of patterns collected and represented beautifully in this book. The one thing not mentioned is the errors in the patterns. Whether it is from the editors or printer during the layout, the errors are disappointedly there.
    That is the only thing that is not a masterpiece in this book. I would still highly recommend buying this book. If you encounter an error in the pattern then look to the ones next to it or if all else fails say thanks to the quality in the pictures as you recognize the materials used on the fly.

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  3. Alex, how did you take the photographs of the flies? They are so clear and detailed!

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